We Shut Down the Port of Oakland, for the Morning

by zunguzungu

One my way to the Port of Oakland this morning — at the tender hour of 5 a.m. — I stopped by Oscar Grant Plaza to get a picture of the city’s sprinklers filling the plaza with water. As long as they keep the soil a muddy saturated mess, no one can put up tents right?

The convergence at 5:30 at West Oakland is well attended (for 5:30), and I join a small group of bicyclists who (along with a bus or two) will be the first wave. Hyphy Republic is there and we caught up a bit.

This might not be the best picture, but it adequately represents the state of my vision as we rode along:

The first picket of the morning:

The first riot police of the morning. They are in full “ready to fuck up your shit mode,” legs spread clubs poised, lips curled. I hate when they do that:

While we march in circles — keep it moving, so it’s a legal picket — these guys sit in idling white vans:

But then they left. If there’s anything more beautiful than riot cops suddenly getting in their van and leaving, it’s the light creeping across the Bay, bluing the sky and warming your face.

@millicentsomer and @sanginaem take some pre-sunrise pictures:

We continue being a picket. At some point, these ladies happened:

Just a nice quiet community picket with a thousand close friends:

Don’t forget the tents! The sign says “This Tent Kills Fascists”:

The Port is just so damned photogenic:

Someone brought a lot of coffee and soup. I love these people:

Suddenly, the riot cops are back, now between us and the berth. They don’t say anything, they just loom.

But they’re in a tricky position when no one does anything to provoke them. The legality of a community picket is a sort of ambiguous thing, but for the police to attack us to force us to move would be a certain kind of decision, one that they decided not to make. @millicentsomer and @sanginaem overheard (by the nearby bathroom) a policewoman saying “we’re going to get our helmets and we’re going to try to get them in the terminal,” but none of the occupiers ever tried to enter the terminal. And then the police file out. We give them room to leave:

The picket continues:

But the police never get violent, the ILWU never crosses the picket line, and things stay peaceful. Lots of pleasant conversation. The port is shut down. TBC.